TEC: Evidence Based Therapeutics
Therapeutics Education Collaboration
Medication Mythbusters – Home of the Best Science (BS) Medicine Podcast


The core of skepticism is DOUBT, The core of cynicism is MISTRUST

“Who lives medically lives miserably.”Latin proverb

“Why should a remedy be certain because it is unique.”Celsus, 25 B.C. – A.D. 50

“All who drink of this remedy recover in a short time, except those whom it does not help, who all die. Therefore it is obvious that it fails only in incurable cases.”Galen, 2nd cent.

“Of medicine I believe all the bad or the good you like, for we have, thank God, no dealings whatever … I despise it always, but when I am sick, instead of making peace overtures, I begin also to hate and fear it; and I reply to those who urge me to take medicine that they should wait at least until I am restored to my strength and health, so that I may have more resources to withstand the impact and the hazards of their potion.”Michel de Montaigne, 1533-1592

“The greater number of simples that go unto anie compound medicine, the greater confusion is found herein, because the qualities and operations of verie few of the particulars are thoroughlie knowne.”William Harrison 1534-1593

“We are overwhelmed as it is, with an infinite abundance of vaunted medicaments, and here they add another one.”Thomas Sydenham, 1624-1689

“When a young physician he possessed twenty remedies for every disease, and at the close of his career he found twenty diseases for which he had no remedy.”John Radcliff, 1650-1714

“New medicines, and new methods of cures, always work miracles for a while.”William Heberden, 1710-1801

“It is an art of no little importance to administer medicines properly: but, it is an art of much greater and more difficult acquisition to know when to suspend or altogether to omit them.”Philippe Pinel, 1745-1826

“If you are too fond of new remedies first you will not cure your patients, secondly, you will have no patients to cure.”Astley Paston Cooper, 1768-1841

“Take a dose of medicine once, and in all probability you will be obliged to take an additional hundred afterwards”Napoleon Bonaparte 1769-1821

“Poisons and medicine are oftentimes the same substance given with different intents.”Peter Latham, 1789-1875

“You cannot be sure of the success of your remedy, while you are still uncertain of the nature of the disease.”Peter Latham, 1789-1875

“The best practitioners give to their patients the least medicine.”Frederick Saunders, 1807-1902

“No families take so little medicine as those of doctors, except those of apothecaries.”Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1809-1894

“A desire to take medicine is, perhaps the great feature which distinguishes man from other animals.”William Osler, 1849-1919

“One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicine.”William Osler, 1849-1919

“I believe that we not only feed the public demand for useless and harmful drugs, but also go far to create that very demand. We educate our patients and their friends to believe that every or almost every symptom and disease can be benefited by a drug.”Richard Cabot, 1869-1939 (In JAMA 1906)

“Half the modern drugs could well be thrown out the window, except that the birds might eat them.”Martin Fischer, 1879-1962

“It usually requires a considerable time to determine with certainty the virtues of a new method of treatment and usually still longer to ascertain the harmful effects.”Alfred Blalock, 1899-1964

“Some drugs have been inappropriately called wonder drugs inasmuch as one wonders what they will do next.”Samuel Stumpf, 1918-


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